Interview with Joseph Devito, White House Home
(from the May 2021 Zafferano America Dealer Newsletter)
Tell us about yourself
I grew up in Long Island and attended only one semester at FIT before choosing to enter the workforce. I worked my way up the ladder in the luxury market with brands like Barney’s New York, Bergdorf Goodman, Gucci, and Tom Ford, and consulted for Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Piaget Jewelry, and others.
Tell us about your business
Back when my husband and I lived in New York City, we loved having friends over to our small but well-appointed apartment… our “movie nights” were a hot ticket among our friends. We would prepare tasty dishes and lay them out in small colorful plates. Our friends often asked us “where did you get these glasses, these plates, napkins, candles, lamps…etc.” They joked that we should open a shop, and this became a perennial conversation between my husband and me over many years. The one consistent thread was that we always wanted to call the shop White House Home.
It wasn’t until years later when we moved to the tiny hamlet of Malverne, that we discovered a vacant little white cottage in the center of our town, which is often lovingly referred to as Mayberry. It felt like kismet, and after months of persistence the owner finally agreed to rent it to us and the dream of White House Home become a reality. We went through our home turning over glasses, plates, and bowls and contacting the manufacturers. One supported us without hesitation: Zafferano! Throughout the years of building White House Home from the ground up, our close bond and relationship with the Zafferano team grew as they stuck with us through thick and thin.
Our business is in its fifth year of success. White House Home is still located in the beautifully renovated and restored 110-year-old cottage at 288 Hempstead Ave. in Malverne. Recently, we launched a design showroom just a few doors down, specializing in interior and exterior design, window treatments, wallpaper, landscaping, masonry, and more. We have built a devoted clientele in our local market and beyond.
What do you think makes your business unique?
We offer a curated selection of luxury items from around the world in a beautiful and tranquil atmosphere. We have a shop filled with beautiful items that no one needs. People love to shop with us because of the quality and uniqueness of our products and a heightened level of value and aesthetic compared to ordinary, everyday items. Our customer experience leaves clients feeling as if they’ve just been on a mini escape from the world outside and transported to a magical environment.
How did you discover Zafferano?
We enjoyed Zafferano products for many years, and when we decided to open our shop we knew they would be a perfect fit. Back when we lived in Soho and the West Village of Manhattan, we were obsessed with visiting the beautiful little shops in our neighborhood, in particular any shop that had to do with home accessories and entertaining at home. This is really where we first discovered Zafferano at a hidden gem of a shop called Global Table on Sullivan Street.
How long have you been a Zafferano dealer?
Which Zafferano products do you carry?
Glassware, tableware, and lighting.
What do you love about Zafferano products?
Beauty, simplicity, luxury, design, and quality.
Which product has been most successful with your clientele?
The colored glassware.
The past year has been a challenge for so many of us. How has your business pivoted during the past year to adapt?
Because we focus on luxury products that enhance the ordinary, we have found that now more than ever people are seeking to pamper themselves and indulge in specialty items that give them happiness. We provide an escape from the day to day and encourage our clients to appreciate fine products that will enhance their lives.